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Who Needs a Shoulder Replacement?

Who Needs a Shoulder Replacement?

People experience shoulder pain for a variety of reasons. Most often, it’s related to some form of arthritis. Other causes include rotator cuff issues or a traumatic injury. 

While shoulder replacement surgery is less common than hip and knee replacements, it’s equally as successful.

About 53,000 people have a shoulder replacement every year, compared to 900,000 hip and knee replacement surgeries. About 95% of those who had a shoulder replacement report less shoulder pain and more mobility after surgery. Most also return to playing the sports they love.

Fellowship-trained and board-certified orthopedic surgeon James M. Lee Jr., MD, at Orange Orthopaedic Associates has extensive experience diagnosing and treating shoulder injuries. 

Do you think you need a shoulder replacement? Here, we share helpful information about shoulder replacement surgery and other treatment options.

Shoulder pain treatment options

Treatment options for shoulder pain and stiffness depend on the cause of the injury and the severity of the symptoms. 

First-line treatments usually include icing, anti-inflammatories, and rest. In addition, physical therapy can build the muscles around your shoulder to relieve pressure, reduce inflammation, build strength, and increase mobility. 

Limiting movements that trigger pain — such as lifting your arms overhead — can help while you heal. Stay active and lose weight to prevent your shoulder pain from worsening. 

If noninvasive treatments don’t provide enough pain relief, we may recommend a steroid injection into your shoulder joint to reduce pain.

When it’s time for shoulder replacement surgery

If noninvasive or minimally invasive treatments don’t help or help enough, Dr. Lee may recommend shoulder replacement surgery. Also, if your pain worsens or you feel a grinding of your bones due to arthritis deterioration, surgery may be your best option.

Depending on your injury, Dr. Lee may recommend a partial or total joint replacement surgery. He replaces the damaged parts with artificial parts that work in a manner similar to your natural ball-and-socket shoulder joint. 

Although all surgery comes with some risks, those risks are rare with shoulder surgery. 

Recovery takes time, but you should be able to use your shoulder comfortably within six to eight weeks. Even so, it may take several months for your shoulder to gain strength and mobility that will allow you to do heavy lifting or play sports. 

Fortunately, within a year, the vast majority of our patients are pain-free.

Does your shoulder hurt when you move your arm? Call us at Orange Orthopaedic Associates with offices in West Orange and Bayonne, New Jersey, for an appointment with Dr. Lee. You can also request one online through this website.

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